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3 Things Young Teeth Need in Moderation

young teeth dr chauvin lafayette la dentistIt can be said that with most things in life – diet, exercise, guilty pleasures – moderation is the key, and this too applies as we talk about your baby’s or children’s teeth.

What do we mean by that?

Specifically, when we look at sugar intake, teeth brushing practices, and toothpaste, we want to be sure we’re making the correct and moderate choices, since these will ensure healthy adult teeth for your children. Damage to baby teeth can cause children to have dental problems later on in their adult lives, so it’s important to start good dental practices early on.

3 Things Young Teeth Need in Moderation

  • Sugar Intake

Eating sugary foods can cause tooth breakdown and decay over time and gives bacteria ample opportunity to multiply within your child’s mouth. Sugar is the main reason that almost half of children under the age of 11 experience tooth decay, and it’s easy to see why: sugar can creep in through not only obvious food items like soft drinks and ice cream, but also through milk, juice, and dried fruit.

It can be tempting to give in to your child’s demands for sugary snacks and candy, especially with Halloween right around the corner, but try to have healthy alternatives for drinks and snacks on hand. Keep an eye out especially for sticky foods.

 

  • Teeth Brushing

Before your baby’s teeth come in, you can gently wipe gums after feedings with a damp, clean washcloth to remove bacteria. Once the first teeth come in, you can still use a washcloth to remove plaque or you can use a soft-bristled baby toothbrush to brush the tooth with a small smear of baby toothpaste.

Be very gentle so you don’t irritate gums and remember that teething is an uncomfortable time, so be careful with your baby’s sensitive gums and mouth. Once your child gets older, you can introduce them to their toothbrush and let them hold it, but stress the importance of thoroughly and patiently brushing their teeth.

 

  • Toothpaste

There are varying recommendations as to what age is appropriate to start using fluoridated toothpaste, so check with your dentist on this. Remember to use just a small smear of toothpaste for babies and a pea-sized amount for children as they get older. Too much fluoride is not good for children, so monitor them while brushing to be sure they’re not accidentally swallowing or ingesting fluoridated toothpaste.

Remember to start getting your children used to coming to the dentist’s office at an early age. It’s best your dentist establish a relationship with your child so he or she can track progress, give recommendations, and note any important changes. Your child will also benefit by beginning to view the dentist’s office as a safe and welcoming space instead of something to fear. At Chauvin Dental, we hope to see you and your family soon for your regular check up!

What’s in toothpaste and how should I pick?

 

whats in toothpaste and how do I pick

whats in toothpaste and how do I pick

Toothpaste no longer comes in simple choices of fluoride and fresh breath. Paste is not even the only option! You also have a choice of an array of colors and flavors. With so many varieties available, it may be difficult to know which features or combinations of ingredients are best for your mouth. Dr. Chauvin and our amazing Lafayette Louisiana team are here to help!

When it comes to dental care products, toothpaste is one of the most important components of proper dental hygiene for kids and adults. It cleans and polishes your teeth and removes bacteria and plaque that cause gum disease, dental decay, and bad breath. Toothpastes contain various ingredients that work in different ways. Detergents produce foaming action to better remove plaque and food particles. Abrasives help remove stains, and fluoride strengthens and protects teeth. The toothpaste you choose should reflect your personal dental care needs.

Types of toothpaste

  • Fluoride Toothpaste –  The most common ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride.  It aids in cleaning the teeth and strengthening the enamel.
  • Desensitizing Toothpaste – Contains active ingredients such as potassium nitrate or arginine that assist in blocking the nerve pathways from the tooth.
  • Whitening Toothpaste –  Usually does not contain bleaches but contain relatively coarse abrasives which function by abrading the stains on the tooth surface, giving a whitening effect. You may want to keep in mind that whitening toothpaste does not do the job of a professional bleaching – it simply helps to remove minor stains and touch up a faded smile and are often too harsh for the average tooth.
  • Tartar Controlled Toothpaste – These help to prevent any further build up of tarter but cannot reach the tartar that collects below your gum line. However some companies are looking to produce toothpaste which fights gum disease.
  • Smokers Toothpaste –  These are specially designed to remove nicotine and tar stains on teeth caused by smoking.
  • Children’s Toothpaste –  These are fairly similar to the adult versions the only difference being that they will contain a smaller amount of fluoride and have more child friendly flavors.

One very important thing to know about your toothpaste is it’s abrasivity.  Toothpaste makers regularly measure their product’s abrasivity. It’s necessary for FDA approval, and usually is not included in marketing. Abrasivity measurements are given by what’s known as an RDA value which stands for radioactive dentin abrasion or relative dentin abrasivity.

There is an ever changing chart to keep up with the values. Anything below 70-80 RDA is considered low abrasive.

 

RDA Dentifrice brand and variety Source
07 straight baking soda Church & Dwight
08 Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder Church & Dwight
30 Elmex Sensitive Plus Elmex
35 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Church & Dwight
42 Arm & Hammer Advance White Baking Soda Peroxide Church & Dwight
44 Squigle Enamel Saver Squigle
48 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive Church & Dwight
49 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Tartar Control Church & Dwight
49 Tom’s of Maine Sensitive (given as 40’s) Tom’s
52 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular Church & Dwight
53 Rembrandt Original (RDA) Rembrandt
54 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Bold Mint Church & Dwight
57 Tom’s of Maine Children’s, Wintermint (given as mid-50’s) Tom’s
62 Supersmile Supersmile
63 Rembrandt Mint (‘Heffernan RDA’) Rembrandt
68 Colgate Regular Colgate-Palmolive
70 Colgate Total Colgate-Palmolive
70 Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive Church & Dwight
70 Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint (given as 50-70) Colgate-Palmolive
79 Sensodyne Colgate-Palmolive
80 AIM Unilever
80 Close-Up Unilever
83 Colgate Sensitive Maximum Strength Colgate-Palmolive
91 Aquafresh Sensitive Colgate-Palmolive
93 Tom’s of Maine Regular (given as high 80’s low 90’s) Squigle (Tom’s)
94 Rembrandt Plus Rembrandt
94 Plus White Indiana study
95 Crest Regular (possibly 99) P&G (P&G)
101 Natural White Indiana study
103 Mentadent Squigle
103 Arm & Hammer Sensation Church & Dwight
104 Sensodyne Extra Whitening Colgate-Palmolive
106 Colgate Platinum Indiana study
106 Arm & Hammer Advance White Paste Church & Dwight
107 Crest Sensitivity Protection Colgate-Palmolive
110 Colgate Herbal Colgate-Palmolive
110 Amway Glister (given as upper bound) Patent US06174515
113 Aquafresh Whitening Indiana study
117 Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel Church & Dwight
117 Arm & Hammer Sensation Tartar Control Church & Dwight
120 Close-Up with Baking Soda (canadian) Unilever
124 Colgate Whitening Indiana study
130 Crest Extra Whitening Indiana study
133 Ultra brite (or 120-140) Indiana study (or Colgate-Palmolive)
144 Crest MultiCare Whitening P&G
145 Ultra brite Advanced Whitening Formula P&G
145 Colgate Baking Sode & Peroxide Whitening (given as 135-145) Colgate-Palmolive
150 Pepsodent (given as upper bound) Unilever
165 Colgate Tartar Control (given as 155-165) Colgate-Palmolive
168 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mint Church & Dwight
200 Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/Whitening or Icy Blast/Whitening (given as 190-200) Colgate-Palmolive
200 recommended limit FDA
250 recommended limit ADA

 

The ADA Seal

The most important thing you should look for when buying toothpaste is the seal of the ADA (American Dental Association). According to Dr. Ada Cooper, an ADA spokesperson, “This shows the product has been tested, its claims are legitimate and its ingredients are effective.”

The ADA seal indicates that the toothpaste contains fluoride, an ingredient that removes plaque. One of the biggest threats to your dental health, plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums and can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

You may also want to consider the flavor of your toothpaste. You are more likely to use toothpaste in a flavor you enjoy. If you’re curious about testing a new flavor, but aren’t sure whether you will like it, try a travel-sized tube instead of a full size. Or, ask your favorite Lafayette La dentist, Dr. Chauvin for a sample during your next dental visit!

 

Visiting your dentist

Once you find the toothpaste that is right for you it is important to keep up with good dental hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day and make sure you schedule your routine teeth cleaning every six months with Dr. Chauvin.